Teaching Kids About Money: Lead by Example

Written by dad - 3 Comments

Awhile back I received a review copy of Larry Winget’s “You’re Broke Because You Want to Be,” and I finally had time to sit down and start paging through it. In case you’re not familiar with him, Winget is a personal finance author and TV personality with what can only be described as a ‘no holds barred’ personality.

Anyway, in reading through the book, I was struck by the following passage:

The only thing kids know about money is what you teach them. You set the example. Don’t expect your kids to learn how to spend their money wisely if they have watched you piss yours away on stupid stuff. Your choices will become their choices. Every dime you spend shows them how to spend their money.

I couldn’t agree with this more. While many people (ourselves included) often go to great lengths to teach their kids about money by paying them an allowance, it’s easy to forget that kids primarily learn by example. If you set a good example for your kids and they’ll learn the right lessons. If you don’t… Well… They won’t.

Published on May 16th, 2008 - 3 Comments
Filed under: Money
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Comments (scroll down to add your own):

  1. I found your blog through the 153rd Carnival of Personal Finance. I didn’t receive allowance as a child, and my mother, in my opinion, was unable to set a good example. I was always critical of the way she handled money, and knew I could do a LOT BETTER! Granted there wasn’t a lot of it with seven children. I either inherited the sense to handle money from my maternal grandmother (she tracked her money to the PENNY), or it was the good ol’ “I’m NEVER going to do what my parents did, if I have to do the exact opposite.” 🙂 I was also unable to give my children allowance when they were growing up. I still haven’t been able to decide if this has affected them negatively or not. I do wish I had been able to give them allowance, because I wished I’d had one as a child.

    Comment by Mrs. Accountability — May 19th 2008 @ 9:40 pm
  2. My fiance and I have often discussed how we will raise our children in regards to money. We want to lead by example and since we were just blessed with a baby boy we decided to stop making excuses and we are attacking our debt (dave ramsey style) and we hope to have everything paid off and paid for by the time Lucian is old enough to begin learning about money.

    Comment by Lucian's Mommy — May 29th 2008 @ 12:05 pm
  3. I totally agree – kids learn by watching Mom and Dad. We’ve been saving for a while so that we can quit our jobs and take off traveling the world with our kids. My boys rarely ask for things any more – they’ve seen that we are all living frugally, and that’s OK.

    We will be taking off in 10 days for a 2 1/2-year journey riding our bikes from Alaska to Argentina. We can’t wait to get on the road and get rid of all the trappings of modern society!! and – think about what our boys will learn!!

    YOu can read about our journey at http://www.familyonbikes.org

    Comment by familyonbikes — May 29th 2008 @ 10:48 pm

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